Many folks are used to being able to insert their CDs into their computers and have the disc and tracks recognized via one of the online databases, such as GraceNote or CDDB. That’s decidedly cool and useful.
But MusicBrainz, a new open source service, takes music tagging to a new level.
MusicBrainz actually analyzes the sound content of individual music files, like MP3s, and compares this against its user-contributed database of songs.
In contrast, the old CD-based services won’t work at all with your MP3s, and they even choke when your localized (e.g., UK) version of a CD differs from the previously entered U.S. version by one track or even one second of music.
The MusicBrainz software is free and deliciously easy to use for tagging your music files. However, I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg here. Imagine using this technology to identify songs played on the radio… to compare subtleties in different song versions or performances… and to recommend artists with a similar sound or feel. Definitely some amazing possibilities!